The two global organisations representing public transport operators and workers have joined to tackle violence on urban transport networks.
Meeting in Brussels. Belgium, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) laid out ways to confront the problem.
Joe Kenny, chair of the UITP Commission on Business and HR Management, explained: “Urban transport should be safe for all users, staff and passengers alike. Yet they can find themselves at risk of assault, abuse, vandalism and anti-social behavior. Today we have set out ways for transport companies and unions to get together and minimise and prevent such acts of violence, as well as on how to act should they occur.”
Asbjørn Wahl, chair of ITF urban transport committee, commented: “The ITF and UITP have pledged to uphold the basic right of transport workers and transport passengers to live, work and travel in safety, free from assault or the threat of assault and all other forms of behavior that may compromise their security and safety.”
The UITP and ITF have agreed that the best way to combat violence is through dialogue between social partners – employers and trade unions – that recognises their common interest in minimising violence and insecurity, building trust and mutual respect, ensuring transparency and promoting a no blame policy so that there are no barriers to reporting incidents. It was agreed that investigating the root cause of an incident is essential.
The UITP and ITF recommend that social partners agree that the following areas may need to be addressed in order to tackle violence and the threat of violence:
- Reporting procedures for collecting information
- How to act on reports and collected information
- Organisation of the transport service in relation to incidents of violence
- Technology and design to reduce the threat
- Human resources
- Finding the right balance to prevent incidents/acting in response to incidents
- Dialogue with the civil authorities (local government, media, police and judiciary)
- Encouraging the participation of stakeholders.
The meeting concluded that:
‘To ensure a truly effective response to violence and insecurity on urban public transport, it is strongly recommended that the social partners comprising the employer and the trade union – especially on the basis of collective bargaining agreements signed between them on these matters – engage with the civil and public authorities and ensure there is a coordinated and effective interrelated network of support and actions (including by use of public funds where appropriates) designed to make our urban public transport safe for its employees and the passengers. It is only by all agencies cooperating to guarantee the safety and security of employees and passengers alike that we can achieve a safe efficient and reliable public transport system that is attractive to the citizens to use and that can perform its function of safe sustainable transport for the well-being of the urban environment and all who live in it.’
Today’s agreement is the latest result of a historic memorandum of understanding between the two organisations – one representing employer organisations, and one transport workers and their unions – signed in December 2013 (see http://goo.gl/a3kAIW ).
That agreement laid out a shared vision of developing high quality public transport worldwide and a plan to promote the development and expansion of public transport worldwide as a motor for sustainable growth and the creation of green jobs, as well as environmental protection in reducing congestion and pollution.